Over 400 competitors meet the challenge
IRELAND's first beach half marathon got under way on golden sands 'below the hill' early on Saturday morning as over 400 competitors lined out to participate in the inaugural Brandon Bay Half Marathon & 10k.
Organised by Castlegregory Celtic FC in conjunction with Castlegregory Community Council, a strong contingent of Kerry runners was joined by others from all over Ireland and even further afield with participants from Canada, America, Spain, the UK, France and Romania eager to test their endurance on the sand in one of the most beautiful parts of the Dingle Peninsula.
At 9am sharp, the half marathon competitors set off on a route along the sands surrounding Brandon Bay – from Fahamore to Fermoyle. Meanwhile the 10km course stretched from Fahamore to Stradbally and back again.
According to Damien Finn, one of the main organisers behind the event, the weather, despite being a overcast offered perfect running conditions. "It wasn't too sunny and it didn't rain - the breeze was the biggest challenge runners said afterwards," he said.
"There was huge local support also, about 40 local volunteers, it was a great event."
Such was the success of this inaugural event, according to Damien, that locals are already setting their sights on hosting another Brandon Bay Half Marathon and 10k next year and by all accounts it would appear that the event will only get bigger and better.
MEN'S 10K – 1st: Aodh Ó Curráin; Baile an Fheirtéaraigh (38.42)
2nd: Patrick Hayes; Hospital, Co Limerick (39:00)
3rd: Ger Fitzgerald; Lispole (41.59)
WOMEN'S 10K – 1st: Gráinne O Donnell; Cork (42.36)
2nd: Clare Keeley; Arklow, Co. Wicklow (42.37)
3rd: Katie Legge; Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin (49.72)
MEN'S HALF-MARATHON – 1st: Niall O Herlihy; Blackrock, Co. Cork (1:28.11)
2nd: Éanna Gowran; Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1:29.32)
3rd: Vinny Conlon; Tullamore, Co. Offaly (1:31.00)
WOMEN'S HALF-MARATHON – 1st: Liz Glover; Limerick City (1:42.39)
2nd: Margaret Carlin; Ballyheigue (1:43.52)
3rd: Sophie Herrero (Dowling) Castlegregory (1:48.28)